Essential Report

Federal budget engagement

May 25, 2021

Q. How much attention have you paid to the federal budget announcements?

  This budget

May’21

Last budget

Oct’20

A lot of attention 19% 19%
A little attention 44% 44%
Not much attention 27% 25%
No attention at all 10% 12%
Base (n) 1,100 1,082

 

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
A lot of attention 19% 24% 13% 15% 20% 20% 18% 24% 16% 14%
A little attention 44% 45% 44% 40% 46% 47% 48% 50% 50% 32%
Not much attention 27% 24% 31% 34% 22% 27% 28% 19% 24% 35%
No attention at all 10% 8% 12% 11% 12% 6% 6% 6% 11% 19%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 379 380 369 410 105 112
  • There is little difference between the level of engagement in the federal budget announcements this May compared to last October. People mainly either paid a little attention (44%) or not much attention (27%) to the announcements.
  • Men are more likely than women to say they paid a lot of attention to the federal budget announcements (24% to 13%). Coalition voters are also more likely to have paid a lot of attention compared to all other voters (24% to 17%).

Federal budget expectations

May 25, 2021

Q. The federal budget will be / was announced on Tuesday 11th In general, do you expect the federal budget will be good or bad for the following?

  After Budget Announced

24 May’21

Before Budget Announced

10 May’21

  TOTAL: Good / Very Good Neither good, nor bad TOTAL: Bad / Very Bad Don’t know TOTAL: Very Good / Good Neither good, nor bad TOTAL:  Bad / Very Bad Don’t know
People who are well-off 51% 29% 8% 12% 53% 28% 8% 12%
Big businesses 49% 32% 7% 13% 51% 30% 9% 11%
Women 40% 33% 15% 11% 34% 36% 18% 12%
Australian families 39% 33% 17% 11% 38% 33% 19% 10%
Small businesses 38% 35% 15% 12% 44% 28% 17% 11%
The economy overall 38% 35% 16% 10% 41% 33% 16% 10%
Younger Australians 33% 34% 21% 12% 31% 35% 23% 12%
Average working people 33% 33% 23% 11% 32% 32% 25% 10%
People on lower incomes 30% 27% 33% 10% 30% 27% 33% 11%
Older Australians 29% 33% 26% 12% 29% 28% 32% 11%
You personally 22% 43% 25% 10% 23% 40% 27% 10%
  • More people now expect the federal budget will be good for women than before the budget was announced; those expecting it will be good / very good for women is now at 40% (from 34%).
  • However, less people now expect it will be good for small businesses compared to before the budget was announced (38% from 44%).
  • Less people now expect the budget will be bad / very bad for older Australians (26% from 32%).
TOTAL:

Good / Very Good

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
People who are well-off 51% 57% 46% 47% 50% 55% 57% 49% 54% 56%
Big businesses 49% 55% 43% 47% 45% 54% 53% 49% 54% 50%
Women 40% 47% 34% 36% 40% 45% 35% 58% 24% 27%
Australian families 39% 42% 36% 36% 38% 43% 31% 57% 31% 28%
Small businesses 38% 45% 32% 39% 35% 40% 32% 55% 26% 29%
The economy overall 38% 43% 34% 35% 37% 43% 28% 59% 26% 29%
Younger Australians 33% 37% 30% 34% 30% 36% 26% 50% 22% 23%
Average working people 33% 37% 29% 33% 31% 34% 23% 52% 18% 22%
People on lower incomes 30% 34% 26% 33% 27% 29% 18% 48% 20% 24%
Older Australians 29% 34% 24% 35% 30% 22% 21% 43% 22% 23%
You personally 22% 26% 18% 32% 23% 12% 16% 33% 16% 16%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 379 380 369 410 105 112
  • Men are more likely than women to expect the budget will be good / very good for women (47% to 34%). Men are also more likely than women to expect the budget will be good for them personally (26% to 18%).
  • Those over 55 are less likely than younger cohorts to expect the budget will be good for older Australians (22% to 35% of those 18-34 and 30% those 35-54). This reflects how they are also less likely to expect the budget will be good for them personally compared to younger groups (12% to 32% those 18-34 and 23% those 35-54).
  • 33% of Coalition voters expect the budget will be good for them personally. This is higher than Labor, Greens and those voting for minor/independent parties (16% respectively).

Likelihood of federal budget delivering outcomes

May 25, 2021

Q. How likely do you think it will be that the budget will deliver the following outcomes over the next few years?

TOTAL:

Quite likely / Very likely

This budget

May’21

Last budget

Oct’20

Create jobs 52% 53%
Help Australia recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19 55% 56%
Keep debt under control 31% 36%
Create long-term problems that will need to be fixed in the future 55% 58%
Place unnecessary burdens on future generations 58% 62%
Base (n) 1,100 1,082
  • There is no significant difference in people’s views towards the likelihood of the federal budget delivering on the listed outcomes compared to last October.
  TOTAL:

Quite likely / Very likely

TOTAL:

Not very likely / Not at all likely

Very likely Quite likely Not that likely Not very likely Not at all likely
Create jobs 52% 13% 9% 43% 35% 8% 6%
Help Australia recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19 55% 16% 11% 44% 29% 10% 6%
Keep debt under control 31% 34% 6% 25% 36% 21% 12%
Create long-term problems that will need to be fixed in the future 55% 16% 17% 38% 29% 12% 4%
Place unnecessary burdens on future generations 58% 14% 17% 41% 28% 10% 4%
  • Out of the budget outcomes listed, most Australians think it’s likely that the budget will place unnecessary burdens on future generations (58%).
  • While 55% think it’s likely the budget will help Australia recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19, 55% also think it’s likely the budget will create long-term problems that will need to be fixed in the future.
  • The budget is not expected to keep debt under control, with 34% thinking this is not very / not all likely.
TOTAL:

Quite likely / Very likely

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Create jobs 52% 55% 49% 47% 49% 58% 39% 75% 42% 44%
Help Australia recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19 55% 59% 51% 52% 53% 60% 46% 76% 47% 40%
Keep debt under control 31% 32% 30% 35% 34% 24% 25% 43% 19% 22%
Create long-term problems that will need to be fixed in the future 55% 60% 50% 52% 53% 59% 63% 50% 55% 57%
Place unnecessary burdens on future generations 58% 61% 55% 53% 55% 66% 63% 57% 60% 61%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 379 380 369 410 105 112
  • Coalition voters are more likely to think the budget will deliver on positive outcomes (i.e. create jobs, help Australia recover from Covid-19, and keep debt under control) than Labor, Greens and minor/independent party voters; They are less likely to think the budget will create long-term problems that will need to be fixed in the future (50% to 61% all other voters).
  • However, Coalition voters are just as likely as these other voters to think the budget will place unnecessary burdens on future generations.

Federal budget and post Covid-19 economic recovery

May 25, 2021

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about the recent federal budget and the direction for the country to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic?

TOTAL:

Agree

This budget

May’21

Last budget

Oct’20

The decisions the government makes now will affect the future health of the economy 75% 75%
The government should take the recognition if their budget measures work, just as they should take responsibility if they do not 73% 70%
The global pandemic means that the health of the economy is out of the government’s control 42% 49%

 

  TOTAL:

Agree

TOTAL:

Disagree

Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree, nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
The decisions the government makes now will affect the future health of the economy 75% 6% 43% 32% 15% 4% 2% 4%
The government should take the recognition if their budget measures work, just as they should take responsibility if they do not 73% 5% 37% 36% 18% 2% 2% 4%
The global pandemic means that the health of the economy is out of the government’s control 42% 26% 12% 30% 27% 19% 7% 5%
  • There is now less agreement that the global pandemic means that the health of the economy is out of the government’s control compared to last October (42% from 49%).
  • However, there is still high agreement that ‘the decisions the government makes now will affect the future health of the economy’, and ‘the government should take the recognition if their budget measures work, just as they should take responsibility if they do not’ (75% and 73% respectively).

Federal budget: Balance of interests between different groups

May 25, 2021

Q. To the best of your knowledge, did the federal budget put the interests of each of the groups ahead of the other, or was there a balance?

Men and women This budget

May’21

Difference

(% points)

Last budget

Oct’20

This budget puts the interests of men ahead of the interests of women 19% -12% 31%
This budget puts the interests of women ahead of the interests of men 34% 20% 14%
This budget was balanced between women and men 47% -7% 54%
Base (n) 1,100 1,082

 

Young people and older people This budget

May’21

Difference

(% points)

Last budget

Oct’20

This budget puts the interests of young people ahead of the interests of older people 32% -13% 45%
This budget puts the interests of older people ahead of the interests of young people 28% 7% 21%
This budget was balanced between the young and the old 40% 6% 34%
Base (n) 1,100 1,082

 

Employees and businesses This budget

May’21

Difference

(% points)

Last budget

Oct’20

This budget puts the interests of employees ahead of the interests of businesses 13% -1% 14%
This budget puts the interests of businesses ahead of the interests of employees 49% 7% 42%
This budget was balanced between businesses and employees 38% -7% 45%
Base (n) 1,100 1,082
  • Compared to last year, this budget is seen to provide more support for women, with 34% saying it puts the interests of women ahead of men (14% in October), and 47% saying it is balanced between the interests of men and women. As such, fewer people think this year’s budget puts the interests of men ahead of women (19% from 31% in October).
  • This year’s budget was seen to be less friendly to the interests of younger people. Fewer think the budget puts the interests of young people ahead of the interests of older people compared to last year (32% compared to 45% last October). More think this budget puts the interests of older people ahead of the interests of young people (28% from 21%), or that it was balanced between the young and the old (40% from 34%).
  • Around half think this budget puts the interests of businesses ahead of the interests of employees (49%), while a further 38% think it was balanced between business and employee interests. Just 13% think the budget favoured employees’ interests over those of businesses.

Views towards objective of federal budget

May 25, 2021

Q. Do you think the federal budget was MORE about …?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Helping the Australian economy recover and building it over the long term 55% 56% 54% 64% 55% 46% 41% 74% 44% 44%
Helping the Coalition win the next federal election 45% 44% 46% 36% 45% 54% 59% 26% 56% 56%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 379 380 369 410 105 112
  • 55% think the federal budget was more about helping the Australian economy recover and building it over the long term, while 45% think it was more about helping the Coalition win the next federal election.
  • Those most likely to think the budget was more about helping the government win the next election were those aged over 55 (54%), Labor voters (59%), Greens voters (56%) and minor/independent party voters (56%).

Federal Budget expectations

May 11, 2021

Q. The Federal Budget will be announced on Tuesday 11th In general, do you expect the Federal Budget will be good or bad for the following?

  May’21 Oct’20
  TOTAL: Very Good / Good Neither good, nor bad TOTAL: Very bad / Bad Don’t know TOTAL: Very Good / Good Neither good, nor bad TOTAL: Very bad / Bad Don’t know
People who are well off 53% 28% 8% 12% 51% 30% 10% 8%
Big business 51% 30% 9% 11% 53% 26% 12% 9%
Small business 44% 28% 17% 11% 44% 26% 23% 7%
The economy overall 41% 33% 16% 10% 34% 27% 32% 7%
Australian families 38% 33% 19% 10% 33% 31% 29% 7%
Women 34% 36% 18% 12%
Average working people 32% 32% 25% 10% 30% 29% 34% 6%
Younger Australians 31% 35% 23% 12% 29% 31% 33% 8%
People on lower incomes 30% 27% 33% 11% 30% 23% 40% 6%
Older Australians 29% 28% 32% 11% 31% 28% 34% 7%
You personally 23% 40% 27% 10% 25% 36% 31% 8%
  • Over half of people think the upcoming budget will be good / very good for those who are well off (53%) and about half (51%) think it will benefit big business. This is consistent with levels for these measures last budget (51% and 53% respectively).
  • Notably, more people now think the upcoming budget will be good / very good for the economy overall (41% from 34% in October) and Australian families (38% from 33%) than the last announcement in October.
  • People on lower incomes (33%) and older Australians (32%) are most expected to be worse off following the announcement.
TOTAL:

Very good / Good

Total Federal Voting Intention
Labor Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
People who are well off 53% 60% 47% 70% 62%
Big business 51% 57% 49% 62% 57%
Small business 44% 40% 60% 32% 40%
The economy overall 41% 33% 61% 26% 34%
Australian families 38% 32% 54% 29% 38%
Women 34% 31% 46% 30% 33%
Average working people 32% 25% 47% 26% 34%
Younger Australians 31% 25% 44% 23% 27%
People on lower incomes 30% 20% 45% 23% 34%
Older Australians 29% 25% 38% 35% 26%
You personally 23% 16% 32% 22% 26%
  • 23% expect to be better off following the budget announcement.
  • 32% of Coalition voters think they personally will have a good budget. This is higher than Labor (16%), Greens (22%) and those voting for a minor/independent party (26%).

Most important areas for increased funding

May 11, 2021

Q. How important to you is it that each of the following areas receives increased funding in the upcoming Federal Budget?

  TOTAL: Very important / Important Quite important TOTAL:  Not very important / Not at all important
Improving the quality of aged care 74% 20% 6%
Services and facilities to improve women’s safety 60% 30% 10%
Promoting the local manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines 59% 27% 14%
Incentives and support for small businesses 57% 34% 9%
Early childhood education and care 55% 28% 18%
Energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables 51% 31% 19%
Reducing the national deficit 48% 34% 18%
  • Improving the quality of aged care is seen by the majority of Australians to be an important / very important area to receive increased funding in the upcoming Federal Budget (74%). Services and facilities to improve women’s safety (60%) comes next, closely followed by promoting the local manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines (59%).
  • Reducing the national deficit (48%) and funding for the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables (51%) are seen as the least important areas for funding.
TOTAL: Very important / Important Total Federal Voting Intention
Labor Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other TOTAL:

Labor, Greens, Other

Improving the quality of aged care 74% 77% 74% 78% 76% 77%
Services and facilities to improve women’s safety 60% 63% 58% 72% 62% 64%
Promoting the local manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines 59% 61% 65% 56% 54% 59%
Incentives and support for small businesses 57% 52% 64% 58% 53% 53%
Early childhood education and care 55% 60% 51% 58% 54% 59%
Energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables 51% 53% 46% 74% 49% 56%
Reducing the national deficit 48% 43% 58% 35% 48% 43%
Base (n) 1,092 371 400 109 111 591
  • Compared to all other voters, Coalition voters are more likely to think incentives and support for small businesses is an important / very important area for increased funding (53% to 64% respectively), however they are less likely to think the same for early childhood education and care (59% to 51% respectively).
  • Coalition voters are more likely to see reducing the national deficit as an important area for increased funding compared to all other voters (58% to 43% respectively).
Pages:123456»

COVID-19 RESEARCH

Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.

Sign up for updates

Receive the Essential Report in your inbox.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.